Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. This year I have had the same internal dialogue going on that I have every year about the annual question, “What am I giving up for Lent?” I have never been good about giving something up and sticking to it. I admit it…. I’m addicted to my Diet Dr. Pepper, coffee, and my TV shows. And if I give them up — I’m not getting closer to Jesus because of it. So something else has to go. So I thought about Social Media? So many of my friends have given that up. But because I work part time as a social media coordinator that isn’t an option for me either. After praying and praying about this question that has rolled around in my head for the past few weeks this is what I feel has been prompted by the Holy Spirit. He once again spoke to me in that still, small voice saying…..
- Give up the negative thoughts you have when you look in the mirror. “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
- Give up trying to be a people pleaser. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
- Give up trying to compare yourselves with others around you. “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 2 Corinthians 10:12
- Give up trying to do everything on your own and lean on me. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5
- Give up your distrust that I am answering your prayers. I have answered them before you even asked. “Before they call I will answer;
while they are still speaking I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24
- Give up your anxieties and worries to me. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:6-7
- Give up the thought that you are not enough. You are a daughter of a King. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1
- Give up trying to do my job and just do what I have called you to do which is love me first, then love others and shine bright for me so that they too will know me. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:36-39
So this year for Lent, I’m not giving up something tangible. I am giving up some of the negative thoughts that pop in my head on a daily basis. I am fixing my eyes on Jesus and His Word. I am replacing all of the lies that are whispered to me from an enemy that is real, with the truth from God the Father who has reveled His truth through his love letters to me (The Bible). During this Lenten season, let’s use it as a time to give up what we think we are or have been, with who we can become in Jesus Christ.